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Anderson Cooper 360

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC)

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Us 18, Wheatley 6, Kyle 4, Brittany 3, Tyler 3, Jane Lynch 3, Kelly Ripa 3, Robert Farris 2, Dr. Phil 2, Damian 2, Dr. Phil Mcgraw 2, Samsung 2, Cnn 2, Geico 2, Lg 2, Jane 2, Tempur-pedic 2, Ireland 2, New York 2, Verizon 2,
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  CNN    Anderson Cooper 360    News/Business.   
   (2012) New. (CC)  

    November 23, 2012
    5:00 - 6:00pm PST  

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>> every single family person asked me how could this happen in a country like ireland in the 21st century. because it was just so simple. when they knew that the baby's not going to survive, why wait? think about the bigger life which was the mother, my wife, savita. and they didn't. >> reporter: all he wants, he says, is the truth. nic robertson, cnn, ireland. >> thanks for joining us. "ac 360" starts right now. welcome, everyone, to this anderson cooper special, bullying, it stops here. here is new jersey's rutgers university. we've come here, all of us, drawn together by the power of absence. the absence of kids, of young adults, of future parents and friends, healers and leaders.
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none of whom will ever be. all of whom have left us because as young adults or as children, they were bullied beyond their capacity to endure. they are the reason we are here. we owe them and we owe them more than talk. in the years since a wave of bullying suicides struck the country and got worldwide attention, there's been too much talk and not enough action. a year ago, rutgers freshman tyler clementi, that young man right there, his life was thrown on to the internet. it was more than he could bear. he went to the george washington bridge and took his own life. almost a year to the day from tyler's suicide, jamie rodimeyer took part in a campaign online and hoped it would get better. some night he outlived that hope. his sister and friends were taunted the night of his wake at school. we have come to know jamie and tyler this past year just as we came to know so many children. these are the faces of other
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students, other students who have taken their own lives after being bullied. the bullying happens every day in school and online, sometimes we don't know about it. sometimes we just hear stories about it and sometimes it is even caught on tape. watch. >> get off my book bag. >> okay. >> move! move! >> what? why you punching me? no. no. no. why you stabbing me with it? >> i'll knock your face off.
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>> you heard the other kids say give it to him hard. that's a boy named alex. some of the abuse he endured every single day. it's from a remarkable documentary called "the bully project." we will show you more of it tonight on the program. our question tonight, the reason we are gathered here, is to make sure that alex's story and all the other kids' stories of bullying don't become a never-ending story handed down through generations of bullies and victims and hurt and loss. tonight, we want to say and say out loud the bullying stops here. we want solutions and tonight, we hope to begin to find them. dr. phil mcgraw is with us. so is bullying expert roselyn wiseman. you will meet so many brave students tonight as well, parents, members of the rutgers community. my friend kelly ripa is here as well. she's got three kids and like any mom, worries and jane lynch, who is raising a young daughter with her wife, will also join us tonight. it's been a year since tyler's death and the issue came to a lot of the country's attention then. i want to bring in phil mcgraw and rosalyn wiseman.
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phil, what kind of grade would you give in terms of progress that's been made this year on the issue? >> well, i would give a real high grade as far as intention to both legislators and administrators and teachers. teachers are heroes. come on, these are people that work for very little money, they are very dedicated, but i would give us a very low grade for execution. i would give us a low grade for what we've accomplished and i'll tell you, it's because we're going at this from the wrong point of view. we're dealing with this with bullies as criminals and then their victims, and we can't see them in that way. there's got to be intervention with both. it's not just -- they both need help, they both need social skills training, they both need things that they can only get if we put it into the curriculum. it can't get in the curriculum if we don't put money behind it and we don't make it just as much a part of the students' day as we do history, math and science. >> what kind of grade would you give to educators, to schools?
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>> i would give to legislators and educators about a c-minus for many of the reasons dr. phil spoke of. because it's so punitive. because it doesn't understand the complexities of the issue. we have good people who are intending to do well who are reacting to anxiety and are not thinking through how this impacts a school. but what i do give -- who i do give an "a" to are the kids and young people who are making videos and songs and music videos, all these different kinds of things they're trying to express that's really authentic to their life experience and they're sharing it with other people. >> i don't give the kids an "a." >> why not? you're disagree with me? >> i give the kids that, do what you're saying, get on youtube, those reaching out for their own experience. what i don't give an "a" to are the kids on the bus that sat there and watched that happen and they're just as guilty as the kid that was doing it. >> one of the amazing things, we conducted a study and will show you the results throughout the hour. more than 75% of the cases i think it was, kids don't
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intervene. nobody intervenes. we're going to look at the importance of intervention, how that really can make a difference. when i first started to try to understand the bullying issue, i saw it very simple. there were bullies and victims but after really researching this and talking with dr. phil and other experts, what i realize now is that it is far more complex. we decided to team up with sociologists who are doing really ground-breaking research on bullying. we launch an in-depth investigation at a top ranked high school, on new york's long island. we wanted to really look at how this problem plays out in one school and what's really interesting is that in doing this study, the sociologist believes we have uncovered larger truths about schools and about bullying nationwide. take a look. >> they call me gay. >> i would get comments like you're fat, you're disgusting. >> like a lot of schools in america, the wheatley school has a bullying problem.
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>> they physically abused me, mentally abused me, emotionally abused me, and i admit, i had thoughts of suicide in ninth grade. >> more than 700 students at wheatley were asked very specific questions about aggression in their school. like did a student at your school pick on you or do something mean to you. did you pick on or do something mean to another student at your school. the results were eye-opening. a key finding, bullies, what researchers called aggressors, are often also victims. >> do you think somebody is an aggressor and somebody is a victim or do you think it crosses over? >> everyone is a bully and everyone's a victim. >> everyone's a bully? >> like you bullies, i bullied. whether you know it or not, you bullied someone. >> the study also shows why kids bully. sociologist robert farris calls it social combat, using aggressive behavior to climb the social ladder. >> it's a race to the top. by getting to the top, you view
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yourself as one of the important people of your school. that's the reason why bullying occurs. >> the study found the higher they get, the more aggressive and victimized they become. 56% of wheatley students surveyed said they were involved in either aggression, victimization or both. and over 80% of incidents were never reported to adults. >> joining us now are two teens from wheatley you just heard from, bridget was rated by the research as being in the top 5% of victims and also interestingly in the top 20% of aggressors. kind of surprised to hear that. josh, a senior, who is rated as the top 5% of victims and also the top 5% of aggressors. we are also joined by the study's author, robert farris and kelly ripa is in the audience with us, a mom of three. bridget, you say that everybody is a bully at one time or another and everybody is a victim. what do you mean? >> well, either -- there's the obvious bully who picks on
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someone else and is like what that video showed, there can be a physical bully, there can be an emotional bully that attacks whether behind the computer or it's just you two, it doesn't have to be like i'm going to punch you in the face and stuff like that but threatening is bullying or you can bully yourself. it's not going to go away. it stays with you. >> it's interesting, to me this study you did was really eye-opening and we picked wheatley because it's an excellent school that really does take this problem seriously but the results are very similar to schools around the country that you also studied. the idea of social combat i find fascinating. explain that a little bit more. >> well, one of the things i think we found at both wheatley and other schools i studied was that there's really kind of two types of patterns going on. one is where maybe a vulnerable kid who's a little bit different in some way who is kind of violated the unwritten codes of social life in a school is getting piled on and picked on relentlessly in sort of a chronic fashion. but then there's this whole other sort of hidden, actually
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more common form of aggression where kids are using it a little more tactically to climb the social hierarchies and that's much more prevalent in all the schools we've seen. it seems to peak in the middle to upper ranges of the status hierarchy. >> josh, this rings true to you. you had two friends who turned on you to try to advance themselves. what happened? >> as their life went on, they felt like oh, we can make new friends, be cooler, go to parties every friday, saturday night, but this kid oh, he's a nerd, we got to hold him back. out of nowhere, like one day you're close buddies hanging out. the second day they're treating you like trash. >> do you think you are both a victim and aggressor? because you scored about the same on both. >> i can definitely see the victim part. i went through a lot with that. but the aggressive part, i don't really see because i'm not all that -- i'm pretty quiet in school. >> a lot of kids didn't actually see themselves as aggressors. >> yeah. they may not realize they have
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done something that was interpreted as mean to a peer. so kids may not always be aware of it. that's certainly the case. >> kelly, you've got three kids. does the idea of social combat, to me that was an eye-opening phrase. >> i think it makes a lot of sense because nobody wants to be the kid that is suddenly turned on, i think, you know. if you are sort of swept up in the group and you see a good friend who is at the top of the social food chain, say, and suddenly the tables have turned and suddenly this sort of popular kid has become the victim in an attempt to take over the social hierarchy, i don't think there's going to be a lost interference because nobody wants to be the person that is suddenly turned on. >> does that idea ring truth to both of you? >> that's what i've been writing about and teaching about for 20 years. teachers, administrators, parents, will look at this and say that's just the way this is. that's the way human beings are. the thing we have to consistently say to people is
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degrading people is never right. it always comes down to what you're being degraded by race, by socioeconomic status, by class, not having as much money, from where you come from, sexual orientation, it always comes down to that. >> the other thing is -- adults who say this has always been around, yeah, that's true, but online bullying, bullying is now, you talk about this on your program, is not just in schools anymore. it is 24 hours a day. >> the problem with this, you were talking so much about the impact of bullying after the fact, what happens is the victim takes over for the bully when the bully leaves. the bully leaves, but the victim repeats it in their head over and over and over, this internal dialogue where they repeat and even enhance and embellish what the bully said and therefore, embrace it from the inside out. >> you had an account and time and time again i hear kids talk about this, i know it's not as
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popular as it once was, but people can say things to you and people would say horrible things to you. you kept it just because -- why did you keep the account? >> because they weren't all negative. i did get a few nice ones. >> that was enough to make you want to keep it? >> well, no. i also liked to respond to the bad ones. i did respond, because if you were just like all right, i see what you're spending your time doing. >> plus you want to take the temperature, see if they're still on you or not. you want to check to see there were 100 last night, 80 tonight, it's getting better. >> i could get seven in one hour, seven in a week. >> also, didn't it feel like if you didn't respond it was weak? you couldn't let it pass? >> sometimes they would write back and say oh, look at you, you know, not writing back. >> we got to take a quick break. up next, more startling research from the study on bullying, including actually some good news on bullying. we will also talk to the principal of wheatley. [ male announcer ] this december, remember --
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welcome back to "bullying: it stops here." before the break we were talking about results of a pioneering study. we discovered that high schools are a social battlefield with students rising for supremacy. to rise on the social ladder they use bullying to improve their position. more often than not, it just doesn't work to really improve your social standing long-term. the other key is that we're learning about the importance of kids intervening to help other kids. dr. phil talked about this earlier. in 77% of aggressive incidents, no bystanders intervened. 77%, and that has got to change. joining the conversation is jacob, another wheatley student. he caught our eye because the study ranked him as one of the students who most often tries to stop bullying in his high school. also with us is the principal of
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wheatley. first of all, principal, it is, i think, incredibly brave of you to allow us to do the study in your school and i want to stress that your school takes this problem very seriously and it's one of the top ranked schools in the country. were you surprised by some of the results? >> i was surprised somewhat. i have worked in a number of different schools in a number of different social and cultural contexts overseas in the city whan i've found in my experience with kids is that kids are kids are kids. and unfortunately, these dynamics occur in all places. that's not to excuse it or tolerate it. but you can't be a high school principal and not acknowledge and recognize problems such as drugs, alcohol, sex and bullying. these are all issues, many of which are tied into the issue of self-esteem and sense of self which is something that's developing in high school kids. >> bob, you talk about the power of bystanders to actually stop this.
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>> bystanders form the majority of a school and they have -- they're the ones who allocate status. collectively. they decide who's cool and who's not. they have this sort of power to step in and change the culture of the school and intervene in specific situations. >> and that's a hopeful thing because if you can get the norm being kids intervening, that can change the dynamic of bullying. >> absolutely. but they have to have the faith and trust that their teachers and administrators will do right by them. and so what i want to applaud is you saying -- this is a problem that happens. the more information that i can get about this problem, like doing this evaluation, helps me do right by my kids. that's the kind of principal we have to have. >> jacob, you're one of the top interveners in the school. why do you think that is? what is it about bullying that you've seen that makes you want to intervene? >> well, i believe that no one deserves to feel bad about themselves or have other people view bad of them, so if you have
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the opportunity to make someone feel better about themselves or prevent it from happening then i believe you should take it. >> did you know that you were one of the top interveners? >> no, i didn't. >> you must have been incredibly relieved. you open up the study and you're like phew, i'm the intervenor. that's good. how do you, principal, how do you get kids -- more interveners? how do you build that number? >> the power of the intervener was very exciting to me because this study in the research clearly showed that if you are friends with someone who is an intervener you're more likely to intervene the next time. so this sense of cultural norms which i think you spoke of earlier, the renormalizing the culture, you can change. and the key is from students. >> and i was interested in your study to see that bullying doesn't actually work. as a strategy long term, to get to the top of the social
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hierarchy, it's nonsustainable and it doesn't really work? is that correct? >> on average it doesn't. >> sometimes it does? >> it works in the moment. it just doesn't work long term. immediate gratification is there and that's the most powerful reward a kid can have is immediate gratification but it doesn't work long term, right? >> there are some exceptions to that. it depends on whom they're picking on. i don't want to get into details on how bullies can be successful, but there were exceptions to it, but by and large, that is the great irony, that it is not working, and actually, even sort of more surprising is it increases the anxiety and depression of the bullies themselves experience. it increases their anxiety levels and their depression levels and i think they end up hating themselves on some level. >> why do you think it doesn't, by and large, does not work as a strategy for becoming top of the heap? >> if your goal is to climb to the top of the hierarchy, excel in something. there's a lot better ways that are respected and admired.
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play the flute. >> that will do it. the old play the flute. yeah. you were in the band, weren't you? >> there are a lot of better ways to do it. and i don't think kids are really fooled by the aggressive behavior. they're not overly impressed. >> they don't trust the bully so they stay away from them. >> do you think that's true? >> absolutely. the thing that is so amazing, you watch kids go through this process, they realize they are paranoid about constantly having to reaffirm their power positions so they're never sure who their friends are and if they really will back them up. if they back them up it's because they fear them so loyalty becomes that you're backing up somebody because they're doing something unethical, but loyalty is not speaking truth to power, and friendship is really speaking truth to power. >> kids are getting caught up in the status games and what they should be doing is focusing on coming out of high school with a
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handful of really good friends. having good friendships is really protective. it may not prevent any bullying from occurring but it helps kids heal. >> we got to take a break. an up-close look at one school system where seven kids have taken their own lives. we'll talk to students up ahead. >> they would call me "fag" and "gross" and tell me i'm going to hell and stuff and it makes you feel like you're the grossest person in the world. obligations, but obligations. i need to rethink the core of my portfolio. what i really need is sleep. introducing the ishares core, building blocks for the heart of your portfolio. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal.
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plus, free same day delivery, set-up, and removal of your old set. when brands compete, you save. but mattress price wars ends sunday, thanksgiving weekend, at sleep train. ♪ sleep train ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪ when we first aired this town hall a year ago, controversy swirled around a school district in minnesota over their so-called neutrality policy when it came to discussing sexual orientation. the district faced two lawsuits and a federal investigation. earlier this year, the school board voted to change the policy. the lawsuits were settled with payment to the plaintiffs and with that settlement, the government agreed to drop their investigation. here's that story. >> they would taunt me in the hallways and i felt like i could never escape it.
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i promise you it will get better. i have so much support from people i don't even know online. i know that sounds creepy but they're so nice and caring and they don't ever want me to die. >> they don't want me to die. jamie lived in new york where an anti-bullying law was passed last year but laws differ from state to state and bullying policies differ from school to school sometimes in a district. in minnesota's largest school district, seven students have taken their own lives in less than two years. the school district is now facing a federal investigation and a lawsuit from two advocacy groups and several students. the allegation? pervasive anti-gay harassment. the students suing say the district's policy of barring teachers from talking about homosexuality jeopardizes their safety at school. they want the policy changed. the school district in a heavily conservative area declined to speak to us, citing the ongoing litigation but did defend the policy to cnn in april. watch. >> all the students come with
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parents in this community and parents have a wide range of beliefs. we serve them all. >> that's the superintendent of the school district. with us now, four students who were fighting back. kyle, damian, brittany and dillon. and also with us is activist and actress jane lynch and also sunny hostin from trutv. kyle, you told me yesterday about an incident that happened to you in the bathroom and what happened? >> i had to use the bathroom and i walk in the door and these people were just watching me. they were just staring at me. i go into the stall and i hear laughing. i hear laughter. and i look up and i have something dripping down my head and someone was peeing on me. >> how often do you get bullies, do you get pushed around? >> almost every day. >> damian, how about you? you are straight, but your two
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dads are gay, and you're on a gymnastics team which people make fun of you for, and what do people say to you? >> gay, faggot, gay boy. >> brittany? what do people call you? >> they call me [ bleep ]. and even words i'm ashamed to say even to this day. >> if you go to a counselor in your school, brittany, what do they tell you? what do they say to you? >> they tell me not to use that language. that's not appropriate. and -- >> but you're not the one using that language. >> yeah. i explained to them what they would say and how they said it but they would tell me not to talk that way and not use that language or just forget it, ignore him or walk away like it didn't bother you because if you act like it doesn't bother you it will stop, but it never did. >> dylan, you have been recently taken out of school and now you are home schooled. did you not feel safe in school?
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>> kids made me feel like i was the grossest person in the world and they would just go against walls and say, here comes the he/she. or here comes the trash. and they made me feel gross and i didn't feel safe at school so i just left. >> damian, if -- i know you had an incident where someone called you the "n" word. did teachers do something about that? >> yeah. they were more -- they would take care of it faster than they would have if someone called me gay or faggot. >> so if someone uses a racial slur, teachers respond, you're saying. >> yeah, right away. >> but if someone calls you the "f" word, what happened? >> they would shrug it off and tell me not to use that word like britney said. >> anderson, can i jump in? >> yes. >> i have to tell you, as a parent, i'm sitting here and i'm stewing with rage. i just feel so angry and so upset for the four of you and your class experience and it
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seems to me that this is all backwards. instead of taking it up with the kids who are tormenting daily and using abusive language and being abusive to the students, this young man can't even go to school anymore. he shouldn't be the one having to stay home. the bullies and the aggressors should be made to stay home or expelled from school. i just want you to know that people do care about you. i care about you. i really feel touched for your experience. really. >> jane, you and your wife are raising a daughter. when you hear these kids what goes through your mind? >> you know, these kids do need to know that they are loved and that it's really, really sad that they don't have an advocate and i think this neutrality policy is abdicating their responsibility, the adults' responsibility of protecting these kids and it's really very sad. >> sunny, the school district is facing a federal
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investigation and a lawsuit. what could happen? is this criminal? >> certainly. a lot of this behavior is protected by federal law. these are civil rights' violations and i think that's what the problem is here. these children aren't allowed to be their authentic selves, and our laws have to protect that. don't we want our children to grow and be their authentic selves. not try to be someone that they are not. and act in this sort of shame-based way. i think the law should be here to protect the most vulnerable in our society. >> the idea of a neutral policy, a policy where you do not use specific words, does that work as an anti-bullying policy? >> no, that plays right into the bully's hand, because it stops well-meaning people from speaking out, and makes these children feel like they have no recourse. i want to go back to what the superintendent said, we have a variety of beliefs, and we need to address all of the beliefs. the single belief that a superintendent of a school should be focused on is the
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health and dignity of the children. that is it. [ applause ] >> do you think it would make a difference if you could talk to teachers and talk to counselors? do you think it would make a difference in your lives? >> yeah, i do. >> how so? >> i think if people understood what we were going through that maybe, just maybe they'd understand and if they would just listen to us speak and actually, meet us before they jump to conclusions, maybe this wouldn't happen. you know, i have prayed every day that i didn't have to go back to school. and i go -- >> you pray every day you don't have to go back? >> yeah. i would hide under the seats of the bus and -- >> you would hide under the seats? >> i would. >> i understand that at one point, how many kids did you know who were bullying you? >> 40. >> 40 kids? >> yes.
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>> you can identify 40 kids? >> yeah. >> i want to thank you kids for your courage and strength. i think you're so impressive and so brave and i think you have tremendous courage. thank you. i appreciate it. [ applause ] coming up, we'll show you what happened to this little boy, alex, after the bullying that happened to him was caught on camera. before we go, i met kyle yesterday and all the kids yesterday and kyle loves lady gaga. >> she's amazing. >> but yesterday when i interviewed kyle and i was talking to him and i said is there anything else you'd like to say, and he said he would like to sing a song and he said that today when he sat down and he said, can i sing? so kyle is going to sing his favorite song. >> great.
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♪ hold your head up and you'll go far ♪ ♪ listen to me when i say ♪ how beautiful you are because god makes no mistakes ♪ ♪ on the right track, baby i was born this way ♪ ♪ don't feel regret just love yourself ♪ ♪ and you'll stay on the right track ♪ ♪ baby, i was born this way [ cheers and applause ] the so-called neutrality policy has since been changed and the new policy reads in part that the staff shall affirm the dignity and self-worth of all students regardless of sexual orientation. the settlement also required the district hire staff to improve the climate for lgbt students
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and more closely monitor and report bullying. the government dropped their investigation but the departments of justice and education will monitor the district for five years. one last update. two out of the four students you just met have since left the school system, including kyle, who, yes, is still singing. americans believe they should be in charge of their own future. how they'll live tomorrow. for more than 116 years, ameriprise financial has worked for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one. together for your future. ♪
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welcome back to this special report "bullying: it stops here." from the campus of rutgers university. so much bullying today occurs online as we talked about as well as in school. it's rare that it's actually caught on camera. there's an extraordinary documentary called "the bully project" which has been shoen to the department of education. parents featured in it have met with the president and first lady. it gives you a look at some of the horrors that some kids face. in is what 13-year-old alex faced on a school bus in sioux city, iowa. >> get your ass off my book bag. i'll beat your ass.
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>> come on, alex. >> no, no, ouch! why you punching me? why are you stabbing me with that? >> i'm going to knock your face off. >> give it to him hard! >> joining me now is the filmmaker and kelly ripa, jane lynch, dr. phil mcgraw and rosalind wiseman. the film is really extraordinary. i know kelly and i watched it last night and we have all seen it, but i know you spent a year in this school. did it surprise you what you saw and were able to actually capture? >> it didn't surprise me and it was sort of, i think, the goal of making the film was to get out there and to show what kids go through.
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to show what kyle goes through. to give it something really real so that we can stop denying it so that we could stop sort of saying this is just a rite of passage. it didn't surprise me. and i think -- the scary part is it didn't surprise a lot of people. >> you were so concerned about alex, the little boy on the bus, you actually showed the footage to his mom? i want to show another clip from the film. >> at some point you've gotten used to this and i'm not. i'm not used to it. i didn't know and i'm not about to get used to it. does it make you feel good when they punch you or kick you? or stab you? do these things make you feel good? >> no. >> well, i don't know. i'm starting to think i don't feel anything anymore.
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>> you watched this last night with your kids. >> that was the moment that i think scared me the most when he said, i don't feel anything anymore. and you see a boy who has been failed on every level. my children were afraid of his experience on the bus, and they watched it, and it terrified them. it is very far away from what their experience has been at school, and when he said, i don't feel anything anymore, well, kids will go to great lengths to feel something and i feel like somebody needs to intervene on his behalf in the right way. >> well, that is what bothers me about this. look, these bullies have parents and where are the parents? if your child is a bully, it is your job to know that your child is a bully. it's your job to know that. it's your job to intervene at that level as a parent. it is your job to talk to the school. >> i have talked to a lot of the schools who have tried to intervene with the parents of bullies and the parents don't recognize it as a problem.
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>> that's what i'm saying. they don't see it because a lot of times it's modeled in the home. there's aggressive behavior in the home either verbally or physically and that becomes the norm. these kids are not born this way, anderson, they learn this. it is a social skill deficit that they learn, and their parents need to know that and intervene. >> the place where we stop it is the public forum of the school. because we can't control these homes. but we can control what happens to kids at school. and we can have -- we can push for more empathy and more understanding. that's where we have a chance to make an impact. >> what bothers me is i don't think you can put a fence around the school. i hear administrators say it happened off campus, it wasn't actually on school. it was in a chat room, it was this, it was that. you have to take down the fences and boundaries. we are responsible adults, and if we know this is going on, we need to caucus and talk to the parents and have a discussion about this. and not to come in and put the
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bully under the jail. you're not going to punish this out of the bully. that young man that was doing that on the bus, that bully, to me, that is a tormented child. the bully. there's something going on. >> but when he went home that night for dinner and his mom said how was your day, what did you do today, he didn't say you know what i did, i tormented this little boy alex and i punched him and i strangled him and i told him i was going to stab him. >> he said it was fine. >> fine. >> jane, do you agree with -- that the school is the place to address it? at least it's the most obvious place to or not that it's easy but the easiest place to address it? >> i think changing the hearts and minds of people is almost a fruitless enterprise. i think you have to institute it in the schools. and there has to be real -- there has to be real consequences for the kids who bully. these kids are not shot out of a vacuum.
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they come from a home that instills certain values and certain behaviors and there's really nothing we can do about it but at our schools and at the legislative level we can do something about protecting these kids. >> if i can comment on what you're saying and jane, you were saying that it does have to happen at the school, but here's the point. if that's going to happen, then we have to teach the teachers what to do. these teachers don't know what to do. they haven't -- nobody has sat down and given them courses and life skills and intervention with these kids and teaching empathy. we can't ask them to do it if we don't teach them what to do and we don't fund it so it can become part of the curriculum. >> i think that's an excellent point. we do need to help with professional development. not just teachers but administrators, cafeteria folks, bus drivers, all the support personnel. you hear this when administrators, teachers watch our film they'll say, like, i don't have the tools.
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this is big news. you can stay in and share something... ♪ ♪ ...or you can get out there with your friends and actually share something. ♪ the lexus december to remember sales event is on, offering some of our best values of the year. this is the pursuit of perfection. welcome back. we're back on our panel. >> you captured a moment for me in the film that will stay with me forever and it sort of crystallized everything perfectly. the two boys coming in from recess and the principal is there to greet them. one is distraught and one is chasing him and she slows them
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down and says what's going on. >> let's actually show this. >> he's offering his hand and let this drop. you may go. cole, i expected more. >> he does this every single day. >> then why are you around him? >> i don't. he comes to me. i try to get away from him. he follows me and he follows me and he calls me a [ bleep ]. >> honey, that is not right and he should not do that. you know what, he was trying to say he was sorry. >> he already did and he didn't mean it. it continued on. >> you didn't mean it when you stuck your hand out, either. so that means you're just like him. >> incredible. >> i was screaming at the screen. i was screaming at the screen. >> you see this all the time? you work in schools. >> i do. i work in schools and i see it and what is so infuriating is
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that we often say to kids, they should trust us. they should believe in adults. and when they have adults in their life who have failed them in this way or fail the way the kids have been failed, why should children believe that we can do differently? why should they take this enormous leap of faith? and reveal this vulnerability? and all of this fear? there's two things that i talk to teachers all the time about. one is that they are at the bridge. that if they're good teachers and they are in math or french or spanish, the kids will talk to them. the second thing teachers need to do regardless of what they teach is if kids use the word fag or retarded or any of that stuff, they say to the kid who said it, mark, or whatever your name is, if you say that word and you are saying this word to put somebody down, it is not acceptable in my classroom. are we good? we're good. it takes ten seconds and it sends a message to every single kid in that classroom what the
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teacher really stands for. >> but they don't say it in front of the teachers as often as they say it away from the teachers and that involves the parents. everybody keeps saying the parents just know what the kids tell them. if you're a parent, it's your job to observe your child and know what they're doing. show up when they don't know you're going to be there. observe them when they don't think they're being observed. find out how they treat other people. i've had parents on the show that said my 5-year-old would never be aggressive with anybody else and i put him behind the mirror and let them watch and the kid is stabbing another kid with a barbie doll like psycho, >> one of the things i'm hopeful for with our film and the conversation, conversations that we're having, is that parents will feel more empowered to have those conversations. not just if they're afraid their kids a bully but if their child is being bullied. >> it 's more than conversation. they need to see what you saw. >> hopefully the empathy to have the third conversation, to have the fourth conversation.
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the sixth conversation. for fathers and sons, you know, it maybe is great advice to say go on, get that bully and it will stop. but when it doesn't, and it's the second and the third and the fourth conversation, you know, how are you going to be able to talk to your son? >> i want to bring in stu snyder from the cartoon network. cnn has teamed up with the cartoon network, time inc. to create a facebook app. explain what the app is. >> it's a great platform where young adults, kids and adults can get together, take a pledge to speak up, to stop bullying and also create a community where everyone can share resources so that we all can make a difference. to date, 40,000 people have taken the pledge to speak up against bullying and i'm really requesting that if anyone hasn't taken that pledge, to please do
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so and hopefully by taking the pledge, we all are able to speak up and stop bullying. >> thanks very much. if you or anyone you know is having trouble thinking about suicide, having thoughts like that, we have resources to help on the ac360.com page. i want to thank everyone here, especially the kids who are here today, who have had the bravery to speak out about what they are facing every single day. this is not just a problem for the kids who are here and for their parents. this is a problem for all of us, that all of us have to solve together. so much is at stake. let's not let our kids down. bullying, it can stop here. thanks for watching. ♪ [ male announcer ] this is karen and jeremiah. they don't know it yet, but they're gonna fall in love, get married, have a couple of kids, [ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married,
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